- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

ALAMOSA, Colo. (AP) - A company that had planned to build a liquid sodium cyanide terminal at a railroad yard near Blanca to supply Colorado mines has temporarily withdrawn its rezoning application after public protests.

Cyanco issued a statement saying it will look for other potential sites before pursuing the Blanca location any further. Currently the liquid sodium cyanide is being trucked from Houston, Texas, to the mines. The compound is used to separate gold and silver from ore.

“We listened to the concerns that they expressed … and we want time to carefully consider these concerns and continue to investigate other potential sites. Therefore, Cyanco is voluntarily withdrawing its re-zoning application filed with Costilla County, and recommends that the Planning Commission’s public hearing scheduled for March 9 should be postponed at this time” said Bob Warriner, vice president of sales and marketing for Cyanco.

Cyanco had planned to ship the chemicals by rail to a site just outside the town of Blanca, where it would be transferred to tankers and trucked to mines in Cripple Creek and Victor, the Alamosa Valley Courier reported (https://tinyurl.com/z4wl2nh).

A formal request for a change to industrial zoning would have required approval from Costilla County commissioners.

At a public hearing, some people questioned the logic of bringing the chemicals to the area just so they could be shipped out again, and some suggested the company find a location closer to the mines it would be serving. They also said the economic benefit was not worth the risk, and expressed concerns about factors the company could not control such as weather and rail conditions that could interfere with supply lines.

Cyanco representatives cited the company’s safety record and told residents the precautions it takes to prevent spills. They also discussed the economic benefits of the facility, which would cost about $1.8 million to build and have an annual payroll of about $400,000.

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Information from: Valley Courier, https://www.alamosanews.com/


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